Thursday, 7 October 2021

[MPOV] Pets in Space 6: A Science Fiction Romance Anthology: Behr's Rebel (Marastin Dow Book 2) by S.E. Smith

My rating: 4/5 based on first story, Behr's Rebel (Marastin Dow Book 2) by S.E. Smith
Goodreads rating: 4.86/5
Published: October 5th, 2021
Edited by Carol Van Natta
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Short Stories

October's Book Challenge:
TBNT Book Challenge: An alternative timelines read OR written by a public figure

This anthology came just in time for this month's book challenge, an alternative timelines read. However, it arrived a little late hence I didn't have time to finish reading it. I've only managed to finish the first story to post this review. Thank you to the publisher for this e-ARC in return for my honest review and I will definitely finished reading it to provide a full review later on.

The main reason why I accepted this anthology is because of their charitable nature. 10% of the preorders and the first month's sales will be donated to Hero Dogs, a charity org that provides trained service dogs to disabled veterans and first-responders in the USA. Pets in Space 6 is written by pet lovers for pet lovers in general. I am so humbled to be a part of this good cause.

There are 11 short stories in this anthology, aside from the first one I've read by S.E. Smith, the remaining are:
1. Star Cruise: Time Loop (A Sectors Romance) by Veronica Scott
Eyn, a three-eyed lizard, has a multi-layered shell, but likes to spend time with his owner, Raelyn. Good thing, too, since she’s reliving the same terrible day. If she can’t get out of the time loop, everyone on the interstellar cruise ship she’s on will die, including the man she’s falling in love with.

2. The Cyborg with No Name (Cyborgs on Mars Series) by Honey Philips
A robot dog is Rose’s only companion in the Martian outback. He’s a quirky collection of mismatched parts, but he’s hers. Despite what her former employer thinks, the outcast scientist knows the robots she developed to help with the terraforming process are more than machines. Especially when a robot horse she created shows up at her doorstep and leads her to an injured cyborg ranger.

3. Escape from Nova Nine (A Central Galactic Concordance Novella) by Carol Van Natta
Griffins in space… They’re small, birdlike creatures that were genetically engineered to look like miniature griffins from mythology. Against all odds, they’re thriving in the harsh environment of a rogue asteroid mine. They could be the key to survival and escape for prisoners Julke and Zade.

4. Trade Secrets (The Department of Homeworld Security) by Cassandra Chandler
When is a cat more than a cat? When he’s a space kitten, of course. The kitten has already adopted alien Xan, who’s only trying to keep his friends out of trouble. Earth at large isn’t ready to learn that aliens exist. Then the kitten decides that human Gwen, who’s stumbled across their secrets, would be the perfect pet…, er, mate for Xan.

5. See How They Run (TriSystems: Smugglers Series) by JC Hay
Positive, Negative, and Monocle are three ordinary-looking lab mice who are inexplicably accustomed to low-gravity. When engineer Baker steals them, she discovers they’re more than they seem. She hopes so, because it could save the life of her coworker, who means so much more to Baker than she’s willing to admit.

6. Suri's Sure Thing (Kimura Sisters Series) by S.J. Pajonas
Finn is a gorgeous, goofy golden retriever with a heart the size of the galaxy. He is pair-bonded with workaholic Suri, who would rather be in space than deal with her complicated family life. Finn knows Suri would be happier if she’d only notice her best friend Eric, so they could stay together. Maybe a trip to space would help her see the light…

7. The Thunder Egg (Dryden Universe Novella) by Greta van der Rol
Neyru is a… well, no one really knows. She looks sort of like a tiny winged dinosaur, and she might be psychic. All vacationing professor Drew knows is she’s beautiful and clever, and growing fast. If only he can convince sexy freighter captain Afra to help him get the little alien foundling back where she belongs.

8. Worlds of Fire: Metamorphosis (Worlds of Fire Series) by Deborah A. Bailey
In the Worlds of Fire, people with magical abilities sometimes have familiars, animal companions they can talk to. Gargoyle shifter Jaydon has a gold-bodied, black-winged bird named Delphy. Student Asira has never met a familiar, and isn’t sure what to think when Jaydon says the only reason he agreed to teach her is because Delphy recommended her.

9. Stranded on Grzbt (Far Star Series) by Melisse Aires
Mimi and her companions are stuck in an alien spaceport, trying to find their way back home to Earth. Mimi befriends and feeds a tiny alien creature the size of a mouse, with three eyes, six paws, and a trunk. Her new pet returns the favor by helping her meet handsome alien Kyre, who might be their best chance for survival.

10. Escaping Korth (Before the Fall Series) by Kyndra Hatch
Agronomist Liana Walker is a casualty of the Human-Korth war. Held captive and interrogated as an enemy combatant, her only friend is Rainbow, an eight-legged spider-like creature with a crab-like shell and large, soft antennae. Plus twelve eyes that allow Rainbow to see the truth when Liana can’t. Such as, her interrogator is the same Korth male she grew up with, before the war separated them.
Behr's Rebel (Marastin Dow Book 2) by S.E. Smith
Chummy and Pi are cute and fluffy alien pets. They’re pretty sure they rescued Raia, the human woman they travel with, not the other way around. In any case, it’s going to take all three of them to rescue a Marastin Dow General who is slated for execution.
This short story consisted of 16 chapters on how a human was appointed by a few Marastin Dow rebels to save their general who will be executed in the next 3 days. After the rescue, they were to meet at a rendezvous point to handover the general. Sparks ignited between the human and the general slowly but surely with the human's pets intervention.
With the help of her two innovative pets, a human woman rescues an alien General and becomes part of the revolution he is leading.
I am surprised with the natural flow of the story even though it is sci-fi with many new terms and characters. Also this is book 2 of Marastin Dow but it can be read as a standalone and I am surprised I was not lost in space! I have always avoided reading sci-fi as I'm always confused in the end. However, this is well written with a difference. I have thoroughly enjoyed this first piece and definitely looking forward to the remaining stories with high anticipation.

The award-winning anthology Pets in Space 6 featuring 11 of today’s bestselling SFR authors is back for a limited time! Grab your copy today and support Hero-Dogs.org!

Bonus novella: Raia's Pets (everyone who buys Pets in Space 6 can claim a free never-released-before Marastin Dow novella, Raia's Pets)

Publisher: Pets in Space Books for Chavanch Press
Formats Available: ebook only
Price: $4.99


Friday, 24 September 2021

[MPOV] Nothing Bad Ever Happens in Tiffany's

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.48/5
Published: May 6th, 2005
Author: Marian Keyes
Genre: short stories
Marian Keyes spearheaded a new wave of contemporary women's fiction providing wickedly funny tales of twenty- and thirty-somethings living and loving on the edge. No stranger to the roadless commonly travelled herself, Marian has also written two collections of tales and observations from her own life. Nothing Bad Ever Happens in Tiffany's is a small but perfectly formed selection of these.
This is a compilation of short stories by Marian Keyes, in a way of ranting her actual misfortune or misadventure. Initially, I did find it relevant and humorous but eventually it became some sort of a bore and I've lost interest. She writes pretty well, that's a given, so I could actually finished reading it. Yes, I did persevered until the end just to complete it! However, too much rants in one book got on my nerves I guess. Hence the reason why I took a long time to finish this 56 pager 8 chapters book! 

Thursday, 16 September 2021

[MPOV] If Malaysia was Anime: Covidball Z #1, 2 & 3

My overall rating: 3/5
#1 Goodreads rating: 4.63
#2 Goodreads rating: 4.38
#3 Goodreads rating: 3.73
Published: year 2020
Author: Ernest Ng
Genre: comic, fiction, satirical

Thanks to Ai Jou for this wonderful birthday gift and I am able to read it for this month's challenge!
September's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A locally published kids' book OR a humorous read
The year is 2020 and we are under attack from the Covid Forces! It is time for us to fight back!

This comic book is a work of parody and satire. It tells the story of how we reacted during the 2020 pandemic and also some funny Malaysian incidents. Storytelling has been enhanced to be as ridiculous and as anime as possible.

We know it's a manga but the word anime sounds better.

Fully coloured!
High quality print!
Durable paper material!
Kick ass content!

Contains several chapters that was never uploaded online because the author thought it was too stupid to post up.
Firstly, I was taken by the well printed comic, good quality finished and strong colours that blew my mind! I have always seen the thin ones from the likes of Marvel or DC Comics which I wasn't keen on as it is easily torn. This one is way better and definitely a keeper! 

When I've picked this for this month's book challenge, I intended to read only the first book as I thought it would be thought provoking deep. It turns out it was a breeze reading it all! Yes, I've finished it all within a week!

It was entertaining, comedic and satirical at it's best! I can definitely relate to it and understood the jokes behind it. This author is way creative! It honestly turns out to be a good comic and I'm proud that it is Malaysian made.

If you are looking for something to perk you up from your reading slump or looking for something funny, you should give this comic a try.

Friday, 20 August 2021

[MPOV] The Far Side of the Sun

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.69/5
Published: December 5th, 2013
Author: Kate Furnivall
Genre: historical fiction, mystery, romance, crime

My pick for August's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A book about climate change OR set in a tropical climate
2. Book Spin / Book Spin Bingo: letters K or B (Kate Furnivall)

Dodie is a waitress trying to make ends meet in Bahamas. This novel follows the turmoil Dodie encountered after trying to save a stabbed man by the roadside who eventually died at her house. From meeting and falling in love with Flynn to investigating the truth behind the dead man, it all broils down to the rich in Bahamas with the likes of a Duke, a Sir and a few others with many more deaths to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author has written this novel. Very easy to understand, even with the many point of views, it was short and sweet as it's labelled at each chapter accordingly. Yet, it was intriguing and had me vested in the story. It was rightly paced which slowly build up the momentum and I just can't wait to finish it!

Though it may seemed odd the way it started with Dodie finding and helping an injured unknown man, this is set in the 40's on a small island hence the appropriateness may differ to a town or city. As such, with a little romance and crime do set the story nicely with a few other distinguished cohorts and the high societies then. The premise itself made it easily relatable overall and the ending was unexpected for me.

I have only read one other book by Kate Furnivall, The Russian Concubine, but I do find this one much more enjoyable and I could easily immersed myself into the story. It maybe a little predictable at some point, yet it was engaging with well written prose. I honestly do missed the beach, especially in a lockdown now due to Covid-19! I just can't wait to bring out my beach bag and board a plane to Bali! 
My love, this is a new beginning. Us together. Forget the rest. This is you and me.

Friday, 30 July 2021

[MPOV] Dracula from the story by Bram Stoker

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.06/5
Published: March 1st, 1996
Retold by Mike Stocks
Genre: horror, vampire, literature, classic

I've picked another quick read for July's Book Challenge:
A speculative novella OR a read with magical elements

I have watched numerous Dracula's and Van Helsing's movies, though it may be gory and scary at times, I have never expected reading a Usborne Classics Retold version would be a frightening experience. I kept getting chills and goosebumps, half expecting something to jump out of nowhere! Imagine that, it is just a novella for young readers!
Truthful retellings of classic stories, clearly written in a modern, approachable style for young readers. Include informative notes on the authors and original texts.
It is well retold in a informative and easy to understand manner about a lawyer's encounter of a vampire in Transylvania which led to him to be gravely ill and lost contact with his fiancee in London. Mina, his fiancee, finally received a letter from a hospital in Budapest informing her of Jonathan's ill health to which she quickly travelled to looking for him. She was shocked to see his poor condition and slowly nurse him to good health. He has given his journal of his encounter for Mina to read and understand what has happened to him but she has kept it instead. They got married and returned to London. One day while on a stroll, Jonathan was shocked to see the vampire prying on a innocent girl. Upon learning this, Mina decided to read Jonathan's journal and together they embarked on a journey to seek and destroy the vampire.

I'm glad to have finally read this, although short, it isn't a sweet one LOL! It did give me scary goosebumps especially towards the end and I liked that ending. At least it has a ''happy ever after'' one :-) The overall story was mildly retold yet with chilly effects. It slightly deviates from the movie versions I've watched and I'm unsure of the true, original one from Bram Stoker. I've never read it which I think I never will in the future too, my fragile heart can't take it LOL!!! Anyway, this retold was well written and definitely suitable for the young readers.

[CSM] Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better is on Shopee!

I have recently got to know that Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) is available on Shopee!

This is definitely a win/win situation for Shopee customers as you can earn more Shopee coins while doing a good deed! Look at the delectable merchandise they have onboard! Time to start shopping now!


This is mine, I have contributed to the fund!

Saturday, 24 July 2021

[Sew] 3D Fabric Face Mask

I've finally embarked on this pattern which I've discovered from the world wide web; from See Kate Sew to Sweet Red Poppy to Sotak Handmade and many more. After watching numerous YouTube videos of all the talented sewists sharing how to sew a 3D face mask using their own respective design or template, I've finally decided on combining a few to simplify and better fit us :-)

  1. The second time, after input from family, it turns out quite snug and small
  2. The first time which turned out big and loose fitting
  3. Lastly, after getting a friend's input, it has turned out exactly what I would have liked!
Apologies for the inconsistent numbering as I didn't realized the arrangement was the other way around for the right hand side ones. Anyway, this pattern is by far the easiest to sew compared to the cup and medical type face masks! 

What I've used:
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • silicon bead stopper
  • elastic band
  • nose wire

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

[MPOV] The Painted Hall Collection

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4/5
Published: 15/12/2018
Author: Anna Tan
Genre: fantasy, magical realism

Another pick for July's Book Challenge:
1. TBNT Book Challenge: A speculative novella OR a read with magical elements
2. Book Spin / Book Spin Bingo: letters T or A (Anna Tan)

This is a reread for me, you can read my initial review here:

The experience reading it a second time is different as, initially, I've read it over a span of a few years due to it's various release dates from the e-ARC I've received. Now reading it at one go from a book definitely had a much pleasant reading journey compared to earlier. 

This is a unique novel where the story is broken down by it's various phase of life. First one, When Wind Blows Cold, is based on Danis finding Hana. Next, The Flame of The North and Beneath The Rumbling Earth are based on both Mica and Hono, Danis and Hana's children. Last but not least, The Still, Small Voice is based on Hono.

Overall, it was truly an exciting journey for a simple kinda folklore with some magical elements. It is fast paced and straightforward which can be finished in 2 seating max but I did take a longer time to complete due to working from home. After finishing work, there are lots of home chores to complete too! Anyway, it has only 93 pages so you get the drift :-)

The remaining 27 pages is based on a trilogy the author is working on. Shattered Memories is part of this trilogy namely Absolution so you can get a taste of what to expect from it. Amok is the first release from the Absolution trilogy and I have read the e-ARC. You can check out my review here: 

All in all, Anna Tan's novels are suitable for all walks of life including young readers too. With it's easy to understand prose and attractive magical realism, I'm sure it will keep them, and even us, entertained until the end :-)

For more deets, you can check out her website:

Thank you again, Anna, for the opportunity to read and review your novels. I truly can't wait for the next Absolution novel!

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